71ºF

Vape shop owners not sure industry can bounce back despite new findings

More than 800 cases reported nationwide

RADFORD, Va. – There's still no definitive cause of the vaping-related illness affecting more than 800 people nationwide, or for the dozen deaths being blamed on vaping, but a consensus seems to be growing.

On Friday, investigators in Wisconsin and Illinois announced two-thirds of the 84 patients with a vaping-related illness they surveyed admitted to using THC products.

"There's a slight glimmer of hope. I'm glad to see the science is starting to come out and override the hysteria that has already been presented," Save The Vape co-founder Eddie Thomas said.

Thomas and Jeremiah Robertson recently started a social media campaign called "Save the Vape" to promote the positive aspects of vaping.

Despite what they've been saying all along -- that THC cartridges are the problem -- now finally being recognized as a real possibility, they say it's too late.

"If your girlfriend catches you cheating, or so she thinks, and burns your house and keys your car, she apologizes after she finds out you didn't, but your car's still keyed and your house is still on fire," Thomas said.

Thomas said the vaping industry may never be as big as it once was.

"I don't think it will be a comeback, easily, if any at all," he said.

Both Robertson and Thomas applaud Gov. Ralph Northam for not banning vaping like five other states have.

"He waited for the facts. He didn't jump too hastily. Big kudos to the governor," Robertson said.

It's a move that may help prevent what's left of the industry from going up in smoke.